Dennis Minor named DU International Artist of the Year

Wildlife artists raise millions for habitat conservation

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Mar. 6, 2009 – Wildlife artist Dennis Minor of Lacey's Spring, Ala., is the Ducks Unlimited 2010 International Artist of the Year. His painting, "Beam's Creek" earned him the top honor.

"It's absolutely outstanding to be chosen," said Minor, who has been an avid DU supporter for many years. "I began with DU many years ago as a volunteer and I remember getting the art packages for our events and seeing the regular names of guys like Jim Killen and Terry Redlin. I never thought I’d be among them. It's a real honor."

Minor got the inspiration for "Beam's Creek" after hunting with this particular lab, who like all labs, managed to leave a lasting impression.  "It's a typical tireless lab and the setting is someplace that hunters can relate to, no matter where they are hunting throughout the country." 

The flooded timber, marshy landscape with a hint of early morning fog is a setting waterfowl hunters know very well and are drawn to these places every fall.  
"Dennis has been able to capture a stunning moment in the waterfowl hunting world with 'Beam's Creek,'" said Don Young, executive vice president, DU. "Ducks Unlimited is fortunate to work with many of the world's premier wildlife artists through its international art program. These talented men and women are responsible for helping raise more than $250 million for DU’s conservation mission. I congratulate him and look forward to continuing to raise money for habitat work through art programs."

This is the fourth year the public voted for the winner through an online vote. More than 16,000 votes were tallied, an increase from last year's 13,000, and the final three candidates were all within 200 votes. The voting numbers continue to grow as the wildlife artists and their paintings become more popular with outdoor and art enthusiasts.

With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization with almost 12 million acres conserved. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands - nature's most productive ecosystem - and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres each year.

Emily Robinson